I began writing this post just before leaving MARCON on Monday, May 12th. However, due to some horrible travel conditions while connecting in Chicago that saw me miss a conference for my day job, well, I forgot to post on the convention.
I won't bore anyone with the travel details--I'd rather not relive the experience. Though, I'm still missing my luggage which contained all of my favorite dress shirts and some nice slacks. Okay...moving on.
MARCON was a lot of fun, and one of the things that struck me most was how young the convention was--as in they attract a lot of younger people. MARCON itself has been around for 49 years--that's pretty incredible for a regional con. But I think it survives because its organizers are not afraid to cater to all ages. Their programming was diverse and offered panels and events for everyone.
The Hyatt Regency in Columbus is the hotel, which is connected to the convention center. A huge plus. There were no death marches in intense heat (like at World Con in Reno or San Antonio). Also--the bar at the hotel is adequately stocked, 53 feet long, and well-staffed. World Fantasy in 2010 was held at this venue and to this day is my favorite convention that I've attended.
So, my role at the convention. I was there as a guest, which was a first for me and my room was comped by the convention. Very nice. I was scheduled to speak on 1632 panels (I have two novelettes published in the Grantville Gazette with a serial planned involving the Knights of Malta) as well as a panel on character battles (stuff like Rambo vs. James Bond, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer vs. Sherlock Holmes or Dracula or Doc Savage) and another panel on Sherlock Holmes (what we like and don't like about the various incarnations).
I also taught a workshop with Griffin Barber (San Francisco Police Department) on Law Enforcement for Writers.
And I got to hang out with a bunch of friends and had dinner the last night of the con with Robert Waters and Chuck Gannon (Nebula Award nominee and ultra great guy).
Oh, and I suppose this is the biggest news for me at MARCON: I met up with Eric Flint to discuss our novel project which is moving forward quite nicely. For the curious: the novel is an urban fantasy set in the present and leans pretty heavily on my experience in law enforcement--until we get further along (contract and all that), I'm not going to say much more about it.